by Ridhima Vakkalagadda (’24) | March 31, 2023
It is that time of the year again, where brackets are filled out and underdogs take center stage. The 2023 March Madness tournament is here, and college basketball fans across the country are gearing up for the excitement. With upsets and Cinderella stories waiting to unfold, this year’s tournament promises to be one for the books.
The 2023 March Madness tournament has been full of surprises, with several lower-seeded teams knocking off higher-ranked opponents. So far, the biggest upset of this tournament and in NCAA history was when 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson University won against top-seeded Purdue in the second round. This was a historic win for the team, and the second time a number 16 seed won in March Madness. In the first round, 15th-seeded Princeton shocked the college basketball world by defeating second-seeded Arizona State. Other notable upsets include 9th-seeded Florida Atlantic’s win over 4th-seeded Tennessee and 5th-seeded San Diego State taking down first-seeded Alabama.
With the Final Four set, fans are excited to see a matchup with some new faces; Miami, San Diego State, and Florida Atlantic are in the Final Four for the first time. Also, this is the first time since seeding began in 1979 that no teams from the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed lines have made it to the Final Four. The Final Four also includes UConn, the highest seed, and many favor the team to win.
In terms of strengths, San Diego is great defensively and has kept most opponents to roughly 55 points per game since the beginning of the tournament.. However, their offense is not as good as that of the other teams in the Final Four, and they will have to mostly rely on their defense to carry them to a win. FAU is strong on both sides of the court, with multiple ball-handlers on offense to throw off the other team, and a lot of rotation defensively to wear down opponents. On the other hand, they rely a lot on three-pointers to win, and during this tournament, their shooting percentage has dropped compared to during their regular season. The Miami Hurricanes are playing against UConn, and while the team is great offensively and extremely efficient when scoring, it has a weak defense that might not be enough to defeat UConn. The University of Connecticut Huskies are the betting favorite of the Final Four, and most people believe that they will win. The team is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country, and a top 15 defensive team as well. If Miami secures a win, they would be in a great position to win the championship.
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